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Post COVID19 Online Examination: Possibilities and Challenges



Dr Syed Zahoor Ahmad Geelani    

University is a multifaceted institution of advanced learning usually meant for disseminating and creating new knowledge, deliver quality education, work for national interests, further international cooperation and produce skilled human resource. In our country we have as many as 907 Universities as of 31-12-2019, out which 399 are state Universities, 334 are Private Universities, 126 Deemed to be Universities and 48 Central Universities. Besides there are other more than 40,000 colleges and 10752 Stand Alone Institutions providing higher education in different disciplines. In its last tenure of UPAS –II the government of India has established 14 New Central Universities; the main aim behind the establishment of these institutions was to make some change in the existing higher education system of India. These universities were assigned the pace setting role in progress of academic education and skill development and at the same time were expected to bring reforms and transformations into academic sectors through creating of skilful human powers. These CFI must be attached and collaborated for promotion to institute and must be supportive for regional level development of colleges and institutes and as such have leadership role in the higher education sector of our country.

The Central University of Kashmir is working hard in realising its objective of being a pace setting institution in the country in general and in J and K in particular. We have been successful in developing a robust online pedagogical strategy wherein the students on rolls were supported by compete SLM package along with supportive zoom classes, whattapp voice messages, Google classes, and periodic guidance and counselling sessions. Along with the online e – transmission of teaching learning materials and guidance a large number of webinars and e-conferences were organised by the different departments of the varsity. When we have almost completely shifted to online pedagogy we need to explore the possibilities of Online evaluation process, although there are a number on impediments which restricts our progress towards online examination system but owing to the grim situation created by the global pandemic we are almost left with no option other than to shift to the online examination.

The School of Education, Central University of Kashmir organized a National e- Conference on “Challenges and Opportunities of Online Examination amid Covid-19” on July 3rd 2020. Two key speakers deliberated threadbare on the subject The speaker Prof. S. K. Yadav, Former Head, Department of Teacher Education, NCERT in his presentation stressed that online examination needs to be emphasized as its importance has been highlighted by number of commissions & committees from time to time. He stressed that the examinations now should be based on self-assessment and need to be more innovative.  Prof Sanjev Sonawane, Dean, Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University described various e- Assessment tools which can be employed especially during Covid-19. He deliberated that 21st century demands using the internet and digital platform tools to plan, share and curate learning. He made the participants aware about the different online tools which can employed and also elaborated the context and procedure to use for their implementation. Here I want to share his detailed deliberations for the Teachers of our state so that we all may get benefited by the online assessment tools available for us, if at all we may someday switch over to online examination. These latest online e-assessment tools are

  1. Topgrade Quiz Maker

Topgrade is one of the best e-assessment tools used by more than 250,000 students use to improve their exam results. We can create quizzes, courses and flashcards in it.  It can be had from   Its main features are

  1. we can create an unlimited number of resources to help us learn.
  2. We can choose from several question types including multiplechoice, fill-in-the-blank and matching.
  • We are also able to add images and time limits to our questions.
  1. Best of all we can create resources anywhere and anytime, online or offline, via our Android and Apple apps.


  1. Class Maker

It is very secure, professional web-based Quiz maker, easy-to-use, customizable online testing solution for business, training & educational assessment with Tests & Quizzes graded instantly saving you hours of paperwork, It can be downloaded from The main features of this e-assessment tool are

  1. Secure & private, easy to define test settings, no software installations required and can create assistants to help manage your account.
  2. Custom certificates & exam branding, exams can be conducted with public & private options
  • Results automatically graded & viewable in realtime PCs, Macs, iPad, iPhone, Android, Chrome book & more.
  1. ProProfs (Quiz Maker)

This tool can be used to make delightful quizzes and tests using ProProfs Online Quiz Maker Software, can Create a quiz from scratch or pick from 100,000+ customizable quizzes that come bundled free of cost with online quiz software.

It can also help to get access to a library of 100,000+ ready-to-use questions and 10+ question types including fill in the blanks, multiple choice, hotspot and more with our quiz builder tool.  This tool can create scored quizzes, personality quizzes or surveys with ease, add images, presentations, and videos to make your quiz interactive. The tool can be had from Its important features are

  1. World’s simplest way to create online quizzes, delightful reports & analytics
  2. Customize quizzes your way with quiz creator software
  • Quiz anytime & anywhere with quiz generator with 100+ settings & Configurations.
  1. Online Quiz Creator

This is a very user-friendly e-assessment tool used to create online quizzes and can be downloaded from the link Its main features are

  1. It helps in Challenging the users on any platform. Lots of question types to choose from (Text questions, Multiple choice questions, image questions, multiple right answers)
  2. Advanced game statistics and rankings, rich tools and sharing.
  1. Moodle

Moodle is the world’s most popular learning management system. The focus of the Moodle project is always on giving educators the best tools to manage and promote learning, but there are many ways to use Moodle. It can have online from  with the following features

  1. Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
  2. It has become very popular among educators around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for their students.
  3. Quiz Pedia

Quiz Pedia is a digital tool for quizzes in the classroom. It can easily  add text, pictures and sound. It can be downloaded from with following features

  1. Use quizzes to assess student’s level of understanding or make the students co-creators of the own learning and allows them make quizzes themselves and then share them with their peers.
  2. Free, but access to statistics, feedback function and customizing requires a fee.
  3. Interact: Create a Quiz

Interact is a tool for creating online quizzes that generate leads, segment our audience, and drive traffic to our website. It can be had from the link with the features such as personalized quiz, scored quiz and assessment quiz.

  1. Quest Base | Freely create on-line and printed

Quest Base gives us the freedom to ask, Millions of questions (and counting) published and printed with QuestBase free of charge. The online source for this tool is with the features such as to create quizzes, tests, assessments, exams or get feedback from surveys and polls, within minimum possible time.

  1. Socrative | Student Response System

Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational games and exercises via smartphones and tablets.

These apps are super simple and take seconds to load and run. Teachers control the questions and games on their laptop, while students respond and interact through their smartphones/laptops. Users can run it as an app or on any web browser. This e-assesment tool can be had online from the link  with the following featues

  1. Quiz and Grade at the speed of learning with activities like Quizzes, Quick Question, Class count.
  2. Helps to get instant feedback and can create personalized activities.
  • It has option for more time for teaching; it is available on all platforms and is free for students.
  1. Hot Potatoes
It is high time to explore the options of alternate channels for assessment and evaluation at all levels of schooling, we can no longer resist the concepts of Open Book Examination, Blended evaluation and on spot Evaluation and integration of pedagogy with evaluation.


The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling us to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is freeware, and we may use it for any purpose or project we like. It can be integrated with Moodle. It can be retrieved online from

Besides there are so many more e-assessment tools available online which can be used by the functionaries to initiate the process of online assessment of the students at different levels, no doubt the process of online examination does not fully suit to the educational scenario of our country but there is an age-old proverb that necessity is the mother of invention and in the present Global pandemic which is by every passing day becoming uglier especially in our own country now we have no option other than to turn digital.

In our own social-political scenario we are between the devil and the deep sea like situation, neither we have basic digital infrastructure in place nor we are having the normal internet speed available here and one more serious impediment is that the end-users are also neither well trained to use digital platforms nor the necessary ICT gadgets are easily available with them. Keeping in view such a grim situation we cannot afford to completely rely on online platforms but at the same we have to switch over to it sooner or later. In my opinion the best solution for the functionaries is to develop a blended approach just like we are now using blended pedagogy for the teaching-learning process and that is the only way forward and a win-win situation can be generated. I suggest that we must start an online examination supported by individualized interaction either face to face or with the help of other ICT Channels.

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Promoting diversity, equity and inclusiveness in veterinary profession



World Veterinary Day

Sanober Rasool

World Veterinary Day

For veterinary professionals, it is crucial to provide socially conscious learning and working environments as well as to eliminate obstacles to fairness and inclusion. Veterinarians operate in a world that is becoming more diverse and swear an oath to uphold public health. Students, team members, and veterinarians must have the knowledge and abilities necessary to meet every customer’s requirements and foster hospitable workplaces for every employee. Although diversity, equality, and inclusivity (DEI) and mental well-being (MWB) are still crucial for the veterinary profession, there is little information available on how professional bodies throughout the world approach these problems. The veterinary profession is a diverse field that offers healthcare and other services to a variety of different animal species. However, despite working with animals that come from diverse backgrounds, the profession itself has not always been inclusive of diversity in its workforce. There is a growing need for the profession to promote diversity, equity, and inclusiveness to better serve the needs of all animals and their owners. This essay will examine some of the ways in which the veterinary profession can promote diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.

One important step toward promoting diversity in the veterinary profession is to increase awareness of the opportunities available to individuals from different backgrounds. This can be achieved by reaching out to underrepresented groups and promoting the benefits of a career in veterinary medicine. Admissions committees for veterinary schools should take into account the unique challenges faced by underrepresented minorities when evaluating applications. This could include adjusting the emphasis given to academic achievements in order to account for the additional obstacles that students from disadvantaged backgrounds may have had to overcome. Making a commitment to diversity and inclusion necessitates uncomfortable levels of participation. Breaking out of our comfort zones might be one of the most difficult obstacles to achieving change in our environments. Discover activities that can help you get out of your comfort zone and into a daring space, allowing you to boost diversity and inclusion programmes in your organisations.

Professional groups and associations can also provide support by offering networking opportunities and resources that help individuals overcome barriers to success. They can also offer resources such as job listings, continuing education opportunities, and access to research and other publications that can help individuals stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field. Moreover, in promoting diversity, the veterinary profession must also strive for equity in its workforce. This means ensuring that everyone has access to the same opportunities regardless of their background.

World Veterinary Day

Veterinarians should be evaluated on their merits rather than their race, gender, or ethnicity. This principle is central to the idea of meritocracy, which holds that individuals should be rewarded and promoted based on their abilities, achievements, and potential. Policies should be put in place to ensure that there is no discrimination in the selection process for veterinary specialists or in any other job opportunities.

Some possible policies that could be implemented to prevent discrimination in the veterinary profession include:

  1. Developing a fair and transparent selection process
  2. Providing equal opportunities: employers should provide equal opportunities for all applicants, regardless of their race, gender, religion, age, or other personal characteristics.
  3. Educating employees: Employers should educate their employees about discrimination and the importance of non-discrimination in the workplace.
  4. Establishing a complaints mechanism: Employees should establish a mechanism for employees to report incidents of discrimination and take appropriate action to address such incidents.
  5. Regularly reviewing policies: Employers should review their policies and procedures regularly to ensure that they comply with anti-discrimination laws and best practices.

By implementing these policies, the veterinary profession can become more inclusive, diverse, and welcoming to all individuals who want to pursue a career in this field.

Finally, inclusiveness in the veterinary profession means creating an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Veterinary organisations should continue to raise awareness and reduce stigma related with mental health conversations at the national and regional levels through webinars, specific training, and broad ongoing education.

World Veterinary Day. In conclusion, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the veterinary profession is essential not only for the well-being of veterinary professionals but also for the animals and their owners. Veterinary organizations, schools, and individual professionals have a responsibility to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that supports and encourages diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. By doing so, the veterinary profession can improve its service to a diverse clientele, foster a culture of inclusion, and better serve the needs of all animals and their owners. It is important to continue the conversation around diversity, equity inclusiveness and mental well-being and take actionable steps towards creating a more inclusive and equitable profession for all.

Veterinarians are essential members of society because of their compassion and caring. They are tasked with treating and caring for sick or injured animals until they are whole and content. So take a chance on World Veterinary Day and give our neighbourhood vets a thank you for all they do for the community.

Sanober Rasool is a PhD Scholar at the SKUAST-K’s Division of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension


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Global eCommerce boom and local traders of Kashmir



Global eCommerce boom Kashmir

A Structural Shift in the Market Preferences

Dhaar Mehak M
Tabeen J Wali

The global eCommerce market was expected to be worth a total of $5.7 trillion by the end of 2022. That figure is estimated to grow over the next few years; exhibiting the fact that borderless eCommerce is becoming a profitable option for online retailers. It is giving a market space to one and all with a potential or product to sell. Only two years ago, 17.8% of sales globally were made from online purchases. That number is again expected to reach 20.8% by the end of 2023; a 2 percentage point increase in eCommerce market share. This growth is expected to continue, reaching 23% by 2025, translating to an increase of 5.2 percentage points in just five years.

Economic projections and forecasts predict the global retail sales growth to rise even further and take up more retail market share. According to research completed by eMarketer and Statista, online retail sales will reach $6.51 trillion by 2023, with eCommerce websites taking up 22.3% of total retail sales. Although retail has had it tough since 2020, every national market covered by eMarketer saw double-digit eCommerce growth. The trend continues globally: Latin America (including Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico) saw $104 billion in eCommerce sales in 2022, up 22.4% from $85 billion in 2021. The UK is forecasted to continuously increase by $85.7 billion (+42.88%) within the next years.

China continues to lead the global eCommerce market, accounting for 46.3% of all retail eCommerce sales worldwide, with total online sales just over the $2.8 trillion mark in 2022. It also has the world’s most digital buyers, 842.1 million, representing 39.4% of the global total. The US eCommerce market is forecasted to reach more than $904.9 billion in 2022, a little over a third of China’s. After China and the US, the third-largest eCommerce market is the United Kingdom, taking up 4.8% of the retail eCommerce sales share. The UK is followed by Japan (3%) and South Korea (2.5%). The top five eCommerce markets haven’t changed since 2018. Trends from eMarketer suggest that these markets will stay in the top five until 2025.

While the whole world has been witnessing the structural transformation and shift in terms of market transformations from retailing to online shopping, the Indian economy has been a part of the process. In light of the same, the Jammu and Kashmir economy has had an equal and equally growing participation in the same. The advent of the internet and the arrival of eCommerce technology in the lives of average Kashmiris have changed the shopping preferences and experiences of the locals. People no longer have to battle issues like vehicular traffic on the roads or wait in queues for long hours. Accredited to the growth of eCommerce technology, locals have been empowered to shop anywhere-anytime just at the click of a button.

However, in the recent past, there was no (or very limited) concept of eCommerce in Kashmir. Smartphone availability to the general public was rare. The masses were barely aware about the internet facilities and global communication channels. There was no idea of online shopping, online transactions, etc. With time and the availability of the internet along with the growing mobile phone penetration, eCommerce made its presence felt in the valley. However, due to slower internet connection issues like 2G and lack of awareness, people initially had apprehensions and thus were afraid of buying things online.

Global eCommerce boom Kashmir

Tracing the roots and history of online shopping awareness in J&K, it dates back to the year 2008 when the mobile internet was making its headway into the valley. People were gaining affordable and available access to wireless internet. It was around the same time that after bearing a lot of hardships with sorting out the supply chains Flipkart became operational and function in the region. the initial years were tough and hard but the company stood steadfast. It took some time for Flipkart to cut through lots of hurdles alone and get to success. Being the only player in the online market in the region for quite some time it was a big deal to keep surviving and floating. But the outcomes were a success.

Steadily as people gain access to quality internet services and advanced smartphone technology the word spread. It was observed that doorstep delivery was actually a reality. At the same time, the quality of the delivery matched the promises of the website. The trust factor got built. Witnessing optimism within the J&K market, other companies like Amazon, SnapDeal, and other local online stores, etc., started jumping in to tap into the growing eCommerce market. The consumers got the opportunity of choosing from a wide range of products. Not only that, discounts and sales from time to time offer big benefits to consumers.

All these factors have been contributing towards a structural market shift. People from across J&K have been moving from in-person retail shopping to online shopping. While the consumers in the region have surely benefitted both in terms of utility/satisfaction and profit maximization, the retailers have been losing.

The J&K economy is predominantly characterized as a consumer economy. The characteristics of being a producer and self-sufficient economy have been limited and rather absent for a long time. It is the retailer of J&K, who has been at the losing end on account of the growth of the online markets. Retailing has been one of the most common business ventures of people across the region of J&K. Setting up of the shops and selling various items has been a known venture. People for generations have been relying on this activity. Lately, the structural change is challenging this segment of J&K businessmen and the immediate solution visible is evolution. These businessmen, particularly retailers, need to adjust to the changing market and make themselves competitive enough to compete with global online sellers. The only other option is to let the business supper, deteriorate and shut down.

The authors are affiliated with the Department of Economics, Islamic University of Science and Technology & can be reached at and

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The Golden Flames Of Autumn Chinars 



The Golden Flames Of Autumn Chinars 

 Syed Aamir Sharief Qadri

The Golden Flames Of Autumn Chinars 

When God created this planet he embellished it with myriad colours so that human beings can see, feel and embrace them in different seasons. In addition to cool and warm colours usually, it is the green and white that represent seasons in Kashmir. The changing season brings new colours and in autumn it is orange, yellow, brown and red shades that dominate the scene.

How beautifully Albert Camus described the loveliness of the autumn season in a single line when he said ‘Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower’. Contrary to this thought, many say all beauty ends at the beginning of this season. They believe this season snatches life from green plants and trees to look everything dull.

I don’t know what autumn looks like in other places of the world but in Kashmir, it is dazzling owing to a presence of a good number of chinar trees. The glory of this tree is something unique. In its praise, a famous couplet by Allama Iqbal is very popular.

Jis khaak ke zameer main ho aatish-e-chinar

Mumkin nahi ki sard ho wo khaak-e-arjumand

(The dust that carries in its conscience the fire of chinar, It is impossible for the celestial dust to cool down)

It is quite amazing to see the dance of autumn leaves that appear vibrant while falling from tall trees. Just like some people are happy to get drenched in the rain during monsoons similarly a few like to dance with the falling of leaves in the autumn season. Indra Gandhi the third PM of India often used to come to Kashmir in the autumn season to see the picturesque fall of chinar leaves. 

Platanus orientalis, The plane tree called Chinar in Urdu and Boen in Kashmiri.  The long-lived deciduous tree is said to have originated in the Balkan area of the Mediterranean region. It grows well in temperate latitudes and is widely spread throughout Eurasia. This tree outside Kashmir is revered by Greek and Persian culture. Whether chinar has an indigenous origin or was introduced by foreigners in Kashmir is still debated in the academic circle. Once cultivated this tree flourished in the supportive environment of Kashmir. 

The mystic saints Sheikh Nuruddin (RA) and Lal Ded have mentioned the name of this tree in their sacred works. The chinar tree planted by Sufi saint Syed Qasim Shah Hamdani in 1374 AD at Budgam was believed by MS Wadoo author of the book “The Trees of Our Heritage” to be the oldest in J&K. But the ongoing census and geotagging of chinar trees show some chinar trees to be 1000 years old in central Kashmir.

It should be noted that we get enough references about the presence of chinar trees in the valley during the sultanate period of Kashmir. But we also know that the Mughals promoted chinar on a large scale. They planted a majestic chinar tree in the gardens of Kashmir and gave it the status of a royal tree which remained intact to this day. 

The world-famous Mughal gardens are known for their majestic chinar trees. The three well-known gardens Nishat, Shalimar and Naseem Bagh in the heartland of Kashmir are full of grand chinars. Over 1200 chinar trees were planted alone in Naseem Bagh by the Mughals. Outside the city, Mughals planted chinars in the gardens of Verinag, Achwal, Dara Shikoh Bagh, and Padshahi Bagh in the Anantnag district. 

It would be quite interesting to call Srinagar the city of chinars. Besides Mughal gardens where chinars are planted in large numbers, one can see them everywhere in the city, on the banks of Jhelum, along the residency road and in the middle of Dal Lake. 

The entire region of Kashmir is dotted by shady chinar trees be it cities or hillsides. The kings mostly planted these trees in important locations. It was the common people especially Sufi saints who took it to the villages of rural Kashmir. 

A perfect example of beauty, this heritage tree is known for its gigantic size. Chinar is perhaps the only tree in the valley that can live for centuries. That is why the saying “Boen chi Gawah” which means chinar witness everything is very famous. This tree is a witness to history and holds a special place in the culture of this land. Under the shadows of this tree, many dynasties flourished. 

The beautiful design of chinar leaf is well acclaimed in the Kashmiri handicraft and wood industries. Every part of the chinar tree is valuable. The timber is used for making furniture, the bark is used as medicine, and from twigs and roots fabric die is made. Its leaves are used to fuel the fire pot locally known as Kangri. But above all the majestic chinar is known for its aesthetic beauty. The experience of walking on the red carpet lying under the chinar trees is pretty special. The sounds produced by the crunching of leaves under one’s feet are touching. With the onset of autumn, people throng to the valley in great numbers to feel the life-giving warmth of chinar trees. 

Boen-e-Shuhul, The cool shades of this tree are quite popular. In summer, people often take shelter under its strong and spreading boughs. Many people wish to be buried under the shades of this tree. Perhaps Sheikh Abdullah the author of Aatish-e-Chinar would have wished the same. Luckily he was buried in the premises of the historic Nasem Bagh on the shores of Dal lake in Srinagar.  

Despite being a state tree, protected by the legislation, the number of chinar trees continues to decrease. In the 1970s as per the official count, there were 42000 Chinar trees in Kashmir and that number has been reduced to a mere 5000 now. 

For some years now the government seems serious enough to promote heritage tourism by distributing saplings to increase the population of chinars in J&K. We should also plant chinar trees in abundance on chinar day which is celebrated on March 15 every year.

 To mark India’s 75th year of independence this year in mid august the govt announced to establish at Srinagar the largest chinar park in the valley by the name of Chinar-Zaar. The autumn of Kashmir can be made even more beautiful if the government take initiative to establish new chinar gardens in every part of J&K. 

A poet and writer, the author has done his MA in History from the University of Kashmir and MPhil from Punjabi University, Patiala. Presently, he is a freelance columnist. You can contact him at

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