By Daya Sagar
A LOOK THROUGH THE MIST
Nobody will believe that in the so ‘trumpeted’ era digital India and tall claims of Good Governance by Government of India / J&K state government one S. K. Raina who was appointed as Assitant Executive Engineer in J&K Power Development on 17-11-87 then was appointed as Incharge Executive -EE- Engineer on 26-04-2001 was not only again promoted as I/C Superintending Enginner -SE- but was further promoted as Incharge Chief Engineer – CE- by the government and was even retired as I/C CE from the post of CE 220 kv line project of Bagliar HEPP in 2008 after remaining on the post for two years without even being regularised as EE what to talk of confirming him as CE. Under what J&K civil service rules this officer was promoted from one I/C officer to another rank I/C only some one from other planet could tell. Officers like Raina are still getting pension in the grade of Assistant Executive Engineer even after 10 years of his retirement. They face social humiliation as well in addition to extreme undue mental / economic stresses. There could be such cases in other departments as well but surely not with IAS officers who have been holding the top Administrative posts in PDD handling matters concerning the human resources but at their own level have been getting grade / rank promotions at regular schedules. The posts of Administrative Secretary have been held all these years mostly by the IAS Officers who keep on getting regular grade promotions in terms of guidelines / principles regarding promotion of members of the indian administrative service and composition of departmental promotion committees circulated under no. 20011/4/92-AIS-II of 28-03-2000 by GoI Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pensions Department of Personnel and trainings.
There may be many like Raina including Anil Gupta (appointed regular AEE20-05-92 then I/c. EE 17-02-2006 then I/c. SE who too retired in May 2013 as I/C CE working as GM CVPPC} , Vinod Khajuria (AEE regular 20-05-92 I/c. E.E 15-09-2006 I/c. SE. 15-09-2010 I/c. CE. 12-09-2012 who retired in 2013 as I/C CE C&S Wing J&K ) , Manmohan Singh (AEE regular 20-05-1992 I/c. E.E 20-04-2007 , retired in 2013 as I/C CE C&S J&K ) , Ms Girija Koul Jalali (AEE regular 20-05-1992 ,I/c. E E. 20-04-2007, retired 2016 I/C CE posted as GM CVPP ), Ravi Chanyal (AEE regular 20-05-1992 , I/c. E.E 20-04-2007 , retired in2017 I/C CE S&O Jammu wing – 2 years) and are still getting pension of only AEE grade even after having retired about 5 to 15 years back as I/C CE. Although the government can quote no any reason to reject the claims of retirees for pension in the grade of CE but should not the government have by this time accepted or rejected their ‘rightful’ claims? .
The extent of irresponsible way of working could be seen from the facts (i) it was in the year 2013 that PDD Administrative department vide PDD/V/74/2003 07/03/2013 issued a notification of Retirement some Officers as I/C CE, I/C SE and I/C AEE (ii) that PDD order / notification 35 of 13022015 as circulated for the seniority of officers too mentioned the seniority of even Chief Engineers retired long back only as confirmed AEE.
This surely speaks of the irresponsible and ‘inhuman’ way the State Government is / has been working. It appears that no body is there to question the officers who have been heading the Administrative departments all these years for (i) promoting a I/C EE as I/C SE without regularising him as EE even his / her having worked on the post of EE for many years (ii) promoting a I/C SE as I/C CE and retiring he / she as I/C CE even after retaining the officer as I/C CE for 2 years with pension benefits of the post of AEE that one may be handling 21 years earlier and that too when neither there is any post of I/C CE nor there is any grade of I/C CE (iv) and officers in senior positions in Administration not performing their legitimate job as regards service matters of other cadres as well as the efficiency / performance interest of the government operations in the fields where as ‘them’ themselves are getting regular grade promotions. May be those in the senior positions who handle such cases do not feel the pinch since they are getting their own promotions with ease as the screening committee for promoting an IAS officer to the grade of Chief Secretary is headed by a Chief Secretary level office of the same cadre and members too from own cadre. This may be news for some and calls for immediate review as regards the screening committees for promoting officers in different government services.
This day career path of an IAS officer is so decorative / assured / smooth and loaded with power and status that no job is comparable to IAS where even people with even IIT and IIM degrees (does it not need through study to save the wasteful flow of professional talents?) fight hard to get selected for IAS. The career progress of IAS officers as could be seen from his / her promotion to various grades / levels – a newly recruited IAS officer starts in Junior Time Scale in First year as trainee in Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, second Year as probationer in cadre region ending with postingat levels like SDO / SDM getting promoted to Senior Time Scale (with two extra increments) just after four years through a screening committee consisting of the Chief Secretary and two officers of atleast Supertime Scale level for rising to levels like Additional DM followed by District Collector , then to Junior Administrative Gradeon completing 9 years of service followed by Selection Grade on completion of 13 years of service to level of DM / Special Secretary , after 16 years of service gets in the Super time Scale worth posting as Secretary / Div commissioner in State, after completion of 25 years gets HigherAdm Grade for posting as Principle Secretary / Additional Secretary GOI and can be Promoted to the Rank of CHIEF SECRETARY after completion of 30 years of service and the Screening Committee for this purpose too shall consist of the Chief Secretary concerned as chairman ,then it is Apex Scale Fixed salary Secretaries to GOI level wih a minimum experience of 30 years and then to Cabinet Secretary Scale ( fixed basic pay).
J&K is under governor rule and there is a fit case for the new J&K Governor to (i) review the performance of the administrative departments of the State and Officer who are heading these departments / had been heading these departments since non performance of the legitimate duty too accounts for a ‘corrupt’ practice (ii) order immediate payment of pensions to the retired I/C Chief engineers in the grade of Chief Engineer (iii) refer the cases of such administrative lapses to JK SVC (iv) appoint high power commission for stream lining the promotion and placement of officer in field departments like Engineering departments too in time schedule grade promotions as has been done to some extent for time bound promotions in departments like Health, ISM and Animal Husbandry / Sheep Husbandry ( Doctors with B.Vsc were granted on the lines of doctors of Medical/ISM Department two steps promotions : first at the stage of 10 years and 2nd at 15 years of cumulative service vide SRO 43 and OM no.A/98(2001)-115 dated 17th November 2005 and then in terms of Cabinet Decision, maintaining parity of Veterinarians with doctors of Medical/ISM Department, 3rd time bound promotion was sanctioned vide Government Order no.3- ASH of 2010 dated 1st January 2010 having a cumulative service of 20 years). No doubt it was reported on 11-05-2018 that J&K Cabinet had accorded sanction to the implementation of some thing like the Assured Career Progression (ACP) Scheme in respect of the Gazetted Service of Engineering Departments so as to ensure a minimum of 3 Time Bound promotions in a span of 20 years for the members and had authorised the Finance Department to notify the Scheme in that regard but the actual status of that measure is not known even after more than four months.
(Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist and a social activist can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org)
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